When the recession hit, initially more men than women were forced into the unemployment lines. As the housing market crashed and it looked like Detroit might go belly up, pink slips went out to thousands of workers in the predominantly male bastions of construction and auto manufacturing.

It took awhile for the recession to filter through the economy and affect service sector and administrative jobs which traditionally employ a preponderance of women. In the interim, the burden of family financial support necessarily shifted from men to women with many women becoming the sole breadwinners for their families – at least until the recession tsunami crashed over 2women workingAmerica’s service sectors and pink slip confetti started falling there too.

In what might be considered an ironic twist of fate, as the economy has recovered unemployed men have benefitted more than women. The effects of recovery have been most robust in construction trades and auto manufacturing, which were among the first employers to start hiring and calling back their predominately male workers. Recovery has been slower in the employment sectors that are traditionally populated more heavily by women. The result is that women are returning to the work force more slowly than their male counterparts.

According to U.S. Department of Labor statistics, only 26% of women who lost their jobs during the recession have gone back to work. After more than 12 months of job hunting, more than one in four unemployed women is still looking for a job.

To address the problem, Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida has launched a back-to-work program that targets unemployed and underemployed women. With a $7.7 million grant from the Walmart Foundation, the program is already offering job training and placement services to women in Southwest Florida.

Zoondy offers unemployed women (and men) another career path. Zoondy is an online job market that matches people with skills to sell to people who need those skills. (Click the link to watch our video and find out how Zoondy works.) Use Zoondy to launch your own business or to fill the income gap while you continue your job hunt.